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How to Become a Home Inspector

How to Become a Home Inspector

Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education

Published: November 12, 2019

Are you thinking about pursuing a career in home inspection? Home inspection is a fast-growing field with relatively few requirements to get started, which makes it a lucrative option for a career change or a new venture for those who have been out of the workforce. However, this field requires a great deal of intricate knowledge about all types of homes. Experience with construction, electricity, plumbing, or another home-related industry will put you a step ahead, but there are still ways you can get your foot in the door if you lack related experience.

Home inspector requirements and qualifications vary by state. States set their own requirements for licensure, including whether or not you need to pass an exam or complete on-the-job training. Take a look at the list below to see how you can start preparing for a career in home inspection.

Steps to Become a Home Inspector

1. Look up the home inspector requirements for your state.

You should start by researching the requirements for home inspector licensing in your state. Kaplan Real Estate Education provides the requirement information for most states that you can find here. Having a clear idea of what’s required will help you plan your tasks and create goals with deadlines. Once you know what you’ll need to accomplish, you can feel confident moving forward.

2. Complete a home inspector training program.

Training programs will give you the background knowledge you’ll need to successfully pursue your new career. This knowledge will be a foundation for you to build off of with future experience. Even if your state does not have training or licensure requirements, completing a home inspection training program will give you the boost you need to succeed on the job. The best home inspection training courses teach sections on business and marketing which will give you an understanding of how to operate and grow a business.

Use the training as an opportunity to learn new things and test your skills. You’ll emerge as a true professional with a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge, ready to build relationships with clients and prove your competence.

3. Pass your home inspection licensing exam.

You state may or may not require that you pass an exam to earn your home inspection license. If you do need to pass an exam, start preparing early. For example, the state of Tennessee requires that you pass the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE). You can register for this exam and set a date so that you have a clear deadline in place to build accountability.

4. Network with real estate agents and brokers.

This is a relationship business. A sensible way to get connected with future clients is to get to know your local real estate agents and brokers. Not only can they be great resources of information on local neighborhoods and houses, but if you make a good impression on them, they could become a referral source sending you a stream of incoming business in the near future.

If you make a connection with someone in the real estate industry, look for opportunities to earn their trust and develop the relationship by referring that agent to people you know who are looking to buy or sell. Attend real estate events, and network with agents and brokers who may be looking for home inspectors with your knowledge and skill set. Even if you don’t leave with new business, you’ll learn a lot just by asking questions and making conversation.

5. Join a firm or work for yourself.

As a home inspector, you can either join an established home inspection company, or you can choose to open your own business—both have their advantages. If you join an established company, you’ll gain knowledge from your colleagues who have tips and advice from working in the industry in your local area. You’ll also most likely get experience in the field right away. If you go into business for yourself, then you can control how much you work and your salary. On the other hand, it may be more difficult to get clients right away, and you may need to put in a lot of work networking in the beginning.


Choosing to make a career change to home inspection could be a great move. Growth in the industry is moving fast, and the minimal requirements to get started make this a simple switch. Ready to get started? Choose your state from this list to see your requirements.